Immunology Graduate Group

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Jan Erikson, Ph.D.

Professor, ImmunologyJan Erikson, Ph.D.
The Wistar Institute

Address: Rm. 270-272, 3601 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office Phone: (215) 898-3823
Lab Phone: (215) 898-3822
Fax: (215) 573-9053

Postdoctoral study, Fox Chase Cancer Center
Postdoctoral study, Stanford University Medical School
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
B.S., University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests

B cell, T cell and dendritic cell interactions that mediate tolerance and immunity
B cell response following influenza virus infection and vaccination

Research Summary

Our studies are directed towards understanding the processes in autoimmune disease, infectious disease, and vaccination that guide immune cells down distinct developmental paths resulting in short-term immunity or long-lasting memory formation.

Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the presence of specific autoantibodies that are generally absent from the functional repertoire of healthy animals. Our focus has been on autoantibody producing B cells, and on T cells that are required for B cell stimulation. Our objectives have been to define the cellular and molecular interactions that influence autoantibody responses.

Influenza viruses and bacterial co-infections are a major health problem. Current studies aim to investigate how the B cell response to influenza virus is induced and regulated with the goal of identifying critical interactions responsible for effective immunity. We are especially interested in the signals that modulate B cell and T cell activation, differentiation and recruitment to the lung following infection and vaccination.

Recent Publications

Mandik-Nayak L, Ridge N, Fields M, Park AY, Erikson J. 2008. Role of B cells in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Curr Opin Immunol. 20(6):639-45.

Hondowicz, B.D., Fields, M. L. Nish, S. A., Larkin III, J. Caton, A. J. and Erikson, J. 2008. Autoantibody production in lpr/lpr gld/gld mice reflects accumulation of CD4+ effector cells that are resistant to regulatory T cell activity, Journal of Autoimmunity, 31 (2):98-109

Hondowicz, B.D., Alexander, S.T., Quinn III, W.J., Pagán, A.J., Metzgar, M.H., Cancro, M.P., and Erikson, J. 2007. The Role of BLyS/BLyS Receptors in Anti-Chromatin B Cell Regulation. Int Immunol. 19:465-475.

Fields, M.L., Metzgar, M.H., Hondowicz, B.D., Kang, S.-A., Alexander, S.T., Hazard, K.D., Hsu, A.C., Du, Y.-Z., Prak, E.L., Monestier, M. and Erikson, J. 2006. Exogenous and endogenous TLR ligands activate anti-chromatin ,and polyreactive B cells. J Immunol. 176:6491-6502.

Fields, M.L., Hondowicz, B.D., Metzgar, M.H., Nish, S.A., Wharton, G.N., Picca, C.C., Caton, A.J., and Erikson, J. 2005. CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells inhibit the maturation but not the initiation of an autoantibody response. J. Immunol. 175:4255-4264.

Fields, M.L., Nish, S.A., Hondowicz, B.D., Metzgar, M.H., Wharton, G. N., Caton, A. J., and Erikson, J. 2005. The influence of effector T cells and FasL on lupus-associated B cells. J. Immunol. 175:104-111.

Fields, M.L., and Erikson, J. 2003. The regulation of lupus-associated autoantibodies: immunoglobulin transgenic models. Curr. Opinion Immunol. 15: 709-717.

Seo, S., Fields, M.L., Buckler, J.L., Reed, A.J., Mandik-Nayak, L., Nish, S.A., Noelle, R.J., Turka, L.A., Finkelman, F.D., Caton, A., and Erikson, J. 2002. The impact of T helper and T regulatory cells on the regulation of anti-double-stranded DNA B cells. Immunity 16: 535-546.

Lab Personnel
Amrita Batheja, Research Assistant
Brian Hondowicz, Ph.D., Associate Staff Scientist
Michele Metzgar, Research Assistant
Krystyna Mozdzanowska, Research Assistant
Audrey Park, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist
Amaya I. Wolf, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow